This is based on a presentation prepared for the March 3rd Lawrenceville Tea Party meeting.
There is only one thing they must do – pass a (balanced) budget – but, of course, they want to add a bunch of new legislation. But before we start going through a few of the bills, here are a few stats.
- FY 2022 budget was in excess of $27 billion in state dollars (around $50 billion once Federal and Agency funds are included). FY 2023 budget is $30.2 billion.
- Each January the governor proposes two distinct budgets. An amended budget for FY 2022 adjusts spending levels for the current fiscal year that ends June 30 to reflect actual tax collections, enrollment growth and spending changes over the year. The full or “big” budget for FY 2023 is spending for the next fiscal year that starts on July 1, 2022.
- Even with the proposed 11 percent increase/person to the overall state budget from FY 2022 to FY 2023, Georgia will spend less per person than in FY 2008.
- As of 3/3/22 there were 1,028 active lobbyists representing 4,200 groups.
- This time last year there were 983 active lobbyists representing 4,295 groups.
- Qualifying for the upcoming county and state elections – March 7-11
- Crossover Day – March 15
- Sine Dei – April 4
HB 1 – Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act; enact
• Provide for public forums at public institutions of higher education
• Prevent the creation of “free speech zones” at public institutions of higher education
• (introduced last year)
HB 60 – Georgia Educational Scholarship Act
• Allows eligible families to access a portion of the education dollars that the state has allocated for their child and spend it on qualified educational expenses
• Strongly opposed by liberal groups
• Opponents claim it would take money away from Georgia schools
HB 531 – Elections Reform Bill
• 66 page bill!
• Passed House 97 – 72
• Receiving strongest Democrat condemnation of any bill
• Is NOT a “voter suppression” bill. And here’s why…
• Does some good stuff, but State is addressing voter fraud when what happened in November was election fraud
HB 905 – Invasion of Privacy by Surveillance Requires Consent
• Relates to eavesdropping, surveillance, or intercepting communication which invades another’s privacy or divulges private messages
• Renders illegal the intentional, clandestine placing of a mobile GPS device or any such monitoring device to track the physical location of an adult person without their consent
HB 917 – Lifetime Weapons Carry & Possession
• Authorize a county probate judge to issue a weapons carry license or renewal license that is valid for life
• Background check review every 5 years ($20.00 fee) including fingerprints
HB 999 – Georgia Educational Freedom Act
• State-funded promise scholarships of $6,000 per school year for each participating student to fund private nonpublic schools, sectarian or nonsectarian, higher education, curricula, etc.
• Does not require parents or students to be in the U.S. legally
HB 1152 – Fair Business Practices Act of 1975
• Requires merchants to accept cash for purchases
• ‘Merchant’ means any person who offers goods, wares, merchandise, or services for sale in this state to the public (Hotels?)
• If merchant does not have exact change the merchant shall remit the amount of payment in excess of the purchase price and sales tax to the DOR
HB 1271 – Right to Display the U.S. Flag
• Prohibit covenants for a planned subdivision and a POA which infringe upon a lot owner’s right to display the United States and Georgia flags
• Passed House 160 – 0
HB 1358 – Chairman John Meadows Act(25 page bill)
• Changes a bunch of lines in GA law to “Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry on his or her person a weapon or long gun.”
• Small changes to where and how to carry, especially related to parks, recreation areas.
HB 1378 – Remove places of worship from unauthorized locations
• Allow Probate Court to accept on line application of GWLs
• Prohibit Database of GWL holders
• Force municipalities to sell confiscated firearms to anyone
SB 226 – Sale or Distribution of Harmful Materials to Minors
• Prohibit public officers from ordering the enforcement of certain federal acts regarding the right to keep and bear arms
• no federal executive order, agency order, law, statute, rule, or regulation … shall be knowingly or willfully ordered to be enforced by any public if contrary to Article I, Section I, Paragraph VIII of the Constitution of this state
SB 259 – Firearms and the carrying and possession of firearms and weapons
• Prohibit creation or maintenance database of persons who have been issued or applied for a GWL.
• Stop municipalities or counties from prohibiting discharge of a firearm on land that is 10 acres or more.
• Force the sale of confiscated firearms to all bidders. Winning bidder must go through FFL
• Passed Senate 33 – 20
SB 319 – Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2021
• Repeal weapons-carry licenses
• Authorize “permit-less carry”
• Similar to HB 1358
• Passed Senate 34 – 22
Passed bills we followed last year
HB 511 – Make legislature use funds for collected purposes
• 2020 Georgia approved Constitutional Amendment to allow legislature to direct collected fees
• This bill forces funds collected from fees and taxes on specific activities to be used for the purpose collected
HB 286 – Restrict ability of counties to reduce funding for county police departments
• Prohibit cutting spending on police departments by more than 5% in a year.
• Some limited exceptions such as revenue loss.
HB 355 – Establish a carbon registry
• Enable the creation and tracking of carbon credits that can be accrued and then sold by developers to companies looking to offset their carbon footprint.
• SB 46
• State-wide vaccination registry for children under age 18
• Vaccination information can be kept and released with consent of child or parent